The war of the doctors rumbles on

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Queenstown Medical Centre and rival newcomer Midtown Medical have settled their dispute – but shots are still being fired. 

QMC filed legal proceedings against Midtown, aiming to temporarily restrain its sole doctor from seeing patients at its O’Connells Shopping Centre premises. Midtown opened last month. 

QMC alleged Midtown’s doctor, former QMC locum Bruce McKinnon, breached a restraint of trade clause which prevented him practising within 40km of Queenstown for three months. He finished up with QMC on May 19. 

The two parties settled last Thursday before the case ended up in court. 

Under the settlement, Midtown boss Greg Roberts says McKinnon is allowed to continue in his new job but Midtown can’t advertise his name or poach any more QMC staff until August 19. 

Roberts says he’s OK with the no-poaching clause and has taken McKinnon’s name off TradeMe. 

QMC boss Richard Macharg states: “We believe that the integrity of our [employment] contract has been upheld.” 

However, last Friday a QMC lawyer wrote to Midtown insisting it also remove McKinnon’s “name and/or image” from its premises by 5pm on the Monday just gone. 

“We’re not going to pull his name off the door or remove any images of him within the practice because that’s not advertising, that’s an unreasonable expectation on their part,” a defiant Roberts says. 

In response to Macharg’s claim in Mountain Scene two weeks ago that McKinnon didn’t give QMC any notice of his departure, Roberts responds: “Bruce handed in his written notice the day before he went on holiday.”